Fully Cry – A Large 18th Century Sporting Art Painting By Francis Sartorius
Period: 18th century
A large 18th century English sporting painting by Francis Sartorius entitled “Full Cry”. Francis Sartorius was born in 1734 and died in 1804. There is a tradition that he was the son of one John Sartorius, said to be a sporting painter and a descendant of the artistic Sartorius family of Nuremburg. Judging from an autograph inscription on the back of a horse portrait formerly with Arthur Ackermann & Son, he worked initially for Thomas Butler, a dealer and artist, in Pall Mall, London. Francis Sartorius was based for the whole of his life in London, where he maintained studios and lodgings at various addresses in Soho. However his paintings are far from urban and his entire output is devoted to recording sporting and equestrian themes in all their diversity. Inevitably and given that his patrons were mainly Country Gentleman, he was itinerant, and seems to have painted in many of the counties of England as well as being one of the first purely sporting painters to work in Ireland. He exhibited frequently at the main London venues, such as the Free Society of Artists and the Royal Academy. His style is old-fashioned, and slightly wooden, but his works have about them a timeless and evocative air of charm. It is unusual to see so may riders and hounds in a painting of this period and he wirily fox can be see making his escape in the distance.
The painting was sold by Sotheby’s in 1999 at the content sale of Lyons Demesne, which is considered to be one of the finest country house estates in Ireland. It fetched £34,500 GBP and was purchased by Mallett of London who subsequently sold on again. It has recently been purchased by myself from a private source.